When looking at the glossary there are some words that I am not sure about.

warp beam
warp or back beam
stretcher rod

The warp beam is the beam the warp is wound on to, I suppose. But what exactly is the back beam? And what is the beam that often is found over (or below) the warp beam called - the rod (beacuse it is often stationary, and does thus not qualify as a "beam"??) that makes the wap level from back to front?

And what is a stretcher rod?

Here is a line sketch of a "normal" Swedish loom, with names. (The red line represents the warp and web - this is the route it most usually goes. I have seen (Swe) looms where the cloth beam turns the other direction)

- Oh - and even Swe looms usually has a harness (a group of shafts :-) but I left that out...


Su Butler

HI Kerstin......what you have labeled as tygbom is what English speaking people call the cloth beam.  What is labeled at knabom is a knee beam, brostbom = breast beam, strackbom = back beam and varpbom = warp beam.   I am assuming the slagbom is the beater frame for an overslung beater.  The standare is the upright or side frame member. 

Stretcher rod?   A temple is often called a stretcher - a device used to keep the warp at the same width as the reed, moved frequently while weaving to maintain width. 




in the glossary, "stretcher rod" is translated as "sräckbom" in Swe, "straekbom" in Danish. As I hve never heard the term stretcher rod, I had to ask...

So what is a "warp OR back beam"? (also in the glossary, English UK/US column)


Su Butler

HI Kerstin.....A warp beam and a back beam are two different things......a warp beam is the beam the warp is wound onto prior to weaving.  A back beam is the beam at the rear of the loom, above the warp beam that the warp goes over prior to being wound onto the warp beam.

Stretcher rod.....I have no idea.....I am not aware of anything English speaking weavers use that goes by that name.  We have an apron rod - goes through the end of a linen apron (one end of the apron is attached to the cloth beam, the other houses the rod)  and the warp attaches to it.   Stretcher, when used as a weaving term is a another English word used to describe a temple.......these are described on the Toika (Finnish) website as "metal stretchers" on their English page.   These can be wooden or metal with sharp teeth that bite into the selvedge to hold the warp the width it was originally sleyed in the reed for the duration of the weaving.




OK - I have added "back beam" but not done anything about the "warp OR back beam".

Apron - so what do you (americans) call it if there is no "apron" (cloth), when the rod to which you tie on the warp is attached to the beam (warp or cloth beam) just with strings? Is the rod still an "apron rod"? Is "tie-on bar" synonymous with "apron rod"?

And... is "tie-on (bar)" always in the front? We have this interesting phenomenon in Swedish - "framknytning" (literally front-tieing) is what you do to the warp when it is beamed, threaded and sleyed. The thing you tie on to is the (literally) tie-on bar (framknytningskäpp, as it says in the glossary). However - there is a corresponding "bar" at the back  - where you attach the warp before beaming. This had no name of its own, so, for the lack of a word, it is also called a framknytningskäpp which can be confusing at times...

I have understood that sometimes you (who use cloth aprons) attach the warp to a separate rod that then is somehow tied to the apron rod. Does this separate rod have a name of its own?


Ellen (not verified)

I would call the "bar" at the back, that we tie the warp on first "bagbindingskæp" in Danish, although admittedly it is identical to the "frembindingskæp" at the front.

Gosh, this is becoming complicated, right?

I am doing my best with the Danish vocabulary, but sometimes wish there were more Danes, with more knowledge than me, who would help out. Problem is, most of my weaving literature has always been in Swedish or English/American, because so little is published in Denmark. And I am just a happy amateur weaver.



I'm just find this--  let me add my 2c

Sträckbom= back beam


stretcher= temple= vävspännare?

One thing about the glossary.. we'll have to go through it at some point-- there are a few things that don't make sense as things are translated back and forth.  For instance, if I see something Swedish-- I may put the English in that column, but if it has two meanings it would end up with an or-- OTOH, it may not work the other way around, or not makes sense in German, and so forth. I've also notice that sometimes people who don't speak English will take a guess and put that in the English column, and then we have to adjust it. 


It's a work in progress. I'd feel free to make any corrections or comments!




Ellen (not verified)

Somewhere in this forum there was a discussion of "harness" and "shaft". Now in Danish I have only ever come across "skaft" which corresponds to shaft.

But I just saw in a Danish mag an ad for a course on "damaskvævning" which especially mentions that there will be work on both "dragrustning" and "harniskrustning". I have never tried damask, but it seems that a word very much like harness occurs in relation to this. Maybe this will give a clue to the Swedish contributors?

Su Butler

HI Kerstin.....I have been weaving for over 35 years, and  have learned  the bar at the front of the loom that the warp is tied onto referred to as the "apron rod", the "tie on rod" or just the "bar".  Apron is the word my weaving teacher used to describe whatever material was used to extend distance from the cloth beam to the rod - it could be a full piece of linen, cords, flat woven cloth strips, strings, whatever....it was still called the apron.  The rod at the front is the apron rod or tie on rod, the rod at the back has always been called the warp beam rod or bar.  Some people I know call it the back rod or back apron rod. 

I think the "warp OR back beam" should be removed from the English column, because, as far as I know, they are two different things.



Everyone should feel free to make those types of changes.. I don't know where that entry came from, but you're right warp and back beams are different. I'm assuming since the danish is garnbom that the swedish should be changed to varpbom and then the english to warpbeam.  At any rate there will be a lot of this sort of back and forth so have at it!  Google-docs save previous versions so we can always revert. It may be a good idea to make a note of major changes either in this forum or on the glossary itself.


Sara von Tresckow

 This is getting into some rather interesting territory.

In every language there is a set of historical terms for weaving. Unfortunately, when we start to weave, we don't always have the knowledge of these words. Perhaps we should set up some standard book references to help us here.

In English - Dorothy Burnham's "Warp and Weft" is often cited as is Zielinski's "Encyclopedia of Handweaving".

There is CIETA - an organization based in France that seeks to standardize textile terminology.

In German, there is a group called Weben+ that is composed of both professional and non-professional weavers, and strives to provide information and education at many levels. Also there is Haus des Webens in Sindelfingen that carries on with the educational traditions of the last full time handweaving school that closed in 2000. The handbooks from that school are still in print and available from Fr. Traub in Winterbach.

For the Scandinavian languages, there are probably also reference points to help out.

In any case, we should all be stretching to use the best sources we can for this list - and perhaps not just take the latest books on the market - unfortunately, not every book that comes out is stellar - those that stand the test of time are best used to construct a glossary.


I guess it depends on what our purpose is. My intention was to create something that people could use to understand foreign weaving texts with, not to be the definitive arbiter of the meanings of specific weaving terms.   I don't have access to those books, only a lifetime of hanging around weavers in two languages and a certain facility in moving between them. That said if someone wants to take he time to find the precise meanings and historical references, by all means do. That's why it's a document open to anyone.  


Kristina (not verified)


according to the picture at the topic, I found this , and that made the meaning of " castle" clear for me. Maybe  helpfull for the others european weavers, where mostly other  kinds of Looms are preferred and who are not so familiar with Jacks .


 Have a nice Sunday!


Mia Marquard (not verified)

This drawing is very helpfull. Thanks.

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